History

THE PARISH

Dedicated to Our Blessed Mother, the parish of Our Lady of the Valley covers 800 sq. miles and includes the towns of Sheffield, New Marlborough, Monterey, Sandisfield, and parts of Egremont. It serves year-round, as well as, many seasonal residents. Mass was first celebrated in Sheffield by a priest from Chicopee in 1845. In 1849, all of the towns in Berkshire County became missions of Pittsfield. In 1864, while it had no church, Sheffield was declared a mission of St. Peter’s in Gt. Barrington. Mill River (a village in New Marlborough) also became a mission of St. Peter’s in 1866. Sheffield was given a pastor and organized as a parish in 1901, with Mill River as a mission. Monterey was added as a second mission in 1930. The parish also has a cemetery in Sheffield.

OUR LADY OF THE VALLEY

In 1884, while a mission of St. Peter’s, the people of Sheffield built the Church of the Assumption. In 1901, it became a parish and the rectory was built. Lightning caused a fire, which destroyed the church in 1904. In 1905, the present church was built and dedicated to Our Lady of the Valley. The statue of Our Blessed Mother from the Church of Assumption was preserved and is presently behind the altar. A carriage house and barn were converted into a Parish Hall in 1953.

IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Built in 1866, when Mill River was a flourishing paper-manufacturing center, this is one of the oldest Catholic churches in Western Massachusetts. It serves residents in the villages of New Marlborough and Sandisfield. It is the “Mother Church” of our parish.

OUR LADY OF THE HILLS

The gift of a summer resident, the church was originally built for a priest of the Diocese of New York who ran a summer camp for underprivileged youth. It was given to Sheffield, as a summer mission. It was condemned in 1959, but parishioners raised funds to repair and re-open it.